Another 1955 Gibson Les Pau Special in TV yellow anyone…?
There are a few myths as to the origin of the moniker ‘TV Yellow’. Some say that it originates through the association with television cabinet finishes which were often done in limed mahogany (the finish listed in the Gibson Catalogue). Another idea most often quoted is that the finish looked better when broadcast (a suggestion put forward by Les Paul himself) as white caused issues with early television cameras.
A more controversial one is that the TV stands for ‘Telecaster Version’, a name given to the finish by Gibson executives who thought the combination of a blonde finish and black pick guard would confuse new customers into buying the Les Paul Juniors over their rival Fender’s Telecaster. Whatever the answer, its certain that this is one of Gibson’s most distinctive finishes, one which went through many changes over the years.
Once again when presented with a Clive Brown finish, we see why he’s so revered. Though maybe a little on the yellow side, the aging and subtle relicing carried out gives this guitar the feel of a well played instrument, as though this was how it left the factory. The additional hardware may not be to everyone’s taste but really adds to the road worn look.
The neck has been subtly reliced and feels very comfortable. The new frets give the guitar that reassuring feeling and have plenty of life left in them. The fretboard doesn’t seem have been sanded too much so as to retain the character. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of breaks.
The plastics are in great shape and seem to be correct. The hardware is isn good shape. The bigsby tailpiece and bridge are 60s examples and have been well fitted to the guitar.
Electronically everything is correct with some solder joints looking to have been disturbed inevitably
The guitar comes with a hardshell case
Plugged in we’re greeted by a plethora of gnarly tones, as you expect from such an instrument. The joy is being able to tame these and take your sound from hairy to subtle with the simple manipulation of the controls. For such a straightforward guitar, there is whole world on sounds available.
If you’ve been looking for a TV Special then don’t let this one pass you by….